Maria Sharapova has not set a timetable for retirement and nonetheless has the will to succeed on the large stage despite having struggled since her comeback from suspension.
The 5-time grand slam champion was banned in March 2016 after testing positive for meldonium. She didn’t return to the courtroom till April final yr and has discovered type and health arduous to come by.
Although Sharapova gained the Tianjin Open in October, she has been dogged by accidents in 2018, profitable solely 5 matches throughout 4 occasions.
Her ambition has not been checked by her outcomes and damage points, although, with the 31-yr-previous Sharapova telling CNN: “I did not put any expectations on myself coming again after the suspension.
“As a result of lacking that time period at this age and after going via various things in my life, whether or not it is damage or surgical procedure, simply being away from the game, despite the fact that you’re resting your physique and despite the fact that I used to be resting issues that have been hurting earlier than, you’ll be able to by no means replicate what you do in a match surroundings.
“I’m nonetheless working by means of that, and I’m nonetheless getting that again, and that takes some time.
“When it comes to the place my thoughts is, my motivation and the will that I’ve for what I proceed now when I’m on middle courtroom, when I’m away from the courtroom and I’ve moments the place my physique feels prefer it’s not the place it ought to be, the place I’m not wholesome, or the place it’s only a day the place I really feel like being elsewhere, I nonetheless get by way of it, and I discover a method to get by way of it and to me, that is the most effective signal.”
On the potential of retirement, she added: “I have never set a timetable for myself, however I’ve all the time stated that I might do it alone phrases.
“And once I say ‘alone phrases,’ so many questions are objective-oriented. You begin a season and it is like what’s your objective? If you’ve skilled grand slam victories, it is completely pure to have that objective in your thoughts.
“It might be foolish for me to say my objective for this yr is to win a decrease-tier event as a result of I attempt to be on the large stage and to win on the large stage. I’ve skilled it, and I do know what it is like and I would like that feeling once more. I proceed to work for that.”
Sharapova faces Caroline Garcia in the primary spherical of the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday.